Outlook: Aus shares to soar on US stimulus news

Market Reports

The Australian share market is expected to soar today after US stocks rallied to record highs as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the central bank’s stimulus program will stay in place until economic conditions improve.
 
That announcement from the Federal Reserve saw treasury prices spike along with gold and oil futures. 

Currencies
 
It also sent the US dollar tumbling against most major currencies, including the Australian dollar. At 7:20AM the Aussie was buying $US95.02 cents, 58.88 Pence Sterling, 93.18 Yen and 70.31 Euro cents.
 
Figures

Wall Street was jubilant: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 147 points to close at 15,677, the S&P 500 lifted 21 points to close at 1,726 and the NASDAQ gained 38 points to close at 3,784.
 
European markets were mixed: London’s FTSE lost 11 points, Paris added 25 points and Frankfurt lifted by 39 points.
 
Asian markets were also mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 194 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 63 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 6 points.
 
The Australian share market dipped 0.3 per cent yesterday as investors exercised caution ahead of the outcome of the US FOMC meeting. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 13 points down to finish at 5,238. On the futures market the SPI is 61 points up. 
 
Company news
 
News Corp (ASX:NWS) has reported a very encouraging response to changes to The Australian’s site and has also flagged more exciting plans for its digital offering this year. The Australian this week re-launched its web and mobile sites, increasing prices for weekly digital subscriptions and changing to a metered pricing model. Shares in News Corp slipped 0.05 per cent yesterday to close at $18.44.
 
Perseus Mining Limited (ASX:PRU) has cut staff and slashed directors' pay as it scales back plans for its Edikan mine in Ghana. The miner has stuck to its half year production targets, while also cutting costs, reducing director's fees and salaries by 15 per cent and placing a freeze on bonuses. Shares in Perseus fell 3.48 per cent yesterday to 55.5 cents.
 
Ex-dividend

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX:SGH) will pay 3.85 cents per share fully franked.
 
Commodities

Gold closed down $1.80 to $US1,307.60 an ounce for the December contract on Comex however the precious metal rose by $55.80 in overnight trade. Silver is down $0.22 to $21.56 for December. Copper is up $0.06 at $3.28 a pound. Oil is up $2.65 at US$108.07 a barrel for October light crude in New York.